In 2014 I started dog agility training with my new pooch, TiLi. It was a way to train her, bond with her, and challenge my anxiety every week. The years following have been filled with highs and lows, seeing me swing from being unable to take her to lessons at all because my anxiety was so bad, to attending agility competitions with her in the UK.
I wanted to collate our story in one place so I can easily look back & see how far we have come, the challenges we’ve overcome together, the fun we’ve had, and the moments of chest-bursting pride we’ve shared.
People talk about emotional support dogs and how much their pets help them with their mental illness, and I’ve always been an animal-lover & found great comfort in my pets, but I never even thought that becoming Team TiPot could change my life quite so much.
Special thanks to Grande Daze where I train in France, and whose support and encouragement has been invaluable to us both.
Thank you also to Wendy of The Dog Academy, Malaga, for continuing our agility education on our Spanish holidays!
You can find my posts about dog agility training, and my relationship with TiLi here:
Dog agility training
Puppy Training: the very beginning of our journey (May 2014)
Agility Training & running TiLi off the lead (July 2015)
Dog Agility, Spanish style where TiLi & I continue our training on holiday (January 2016)
My Pride & Joy (February 2015)
Mental Illness: it gets better aka TiLi & I attend our first agility competition(June 2017)
Dogs, agility, and mental health
One of those people – Love at first cuddle (April 2014)
The Prompt: Prepare – Battling my anxiety in the run up to our second for-fun competition (August 2015)
Dear So & So: anxiety…again – An apology for missing TiLi’s first fun competition because of my anxiety (September 2015)
Depression: what else can I say? – Why loving a dog can be a struggle with a mental illness (January 2017)
Dear So & So: anxiety – A letter to TiLi about why I’m anxious about being promoted at agility training (August 2015)
Mental Illness, an invisible illness – Thoughts on how hard a great agility session can be, and how easily it can be wiped from your mind (July 2015)
L is for… – On seeing TiLi grow up (September 2014)
Share the Joy: Pets – Sharing TiLi’s love of sticks (March 2015)
A typical Saturday – VEDA vlog featuring 2 minutes 30 of agility training (August 2017)
A day in the life – VEDA vlog featuring 1 minute of agility training (August 2017)
April 2016 – Month in a Minute featuring weave practice not going well! (April 2016)
August Month in a Minute – Month in a Minute featuring a few seconds of agility training (August 2015)
Highs and lows of pooch parenting